Urdu Hindi Controversy

Topics: Hindi, Urdu, Syed Ahmed Khan Pages: 4 (1338 words) Published: February 10, 2014
Language has been known as a symbol of identity since a long time. It is considered as a gelling force to keep the communities united. Urdu was the official language of the sub-continent and was spoken and used by both, Hindus and Muslims. All groups had contributed towards the development of the language. The Urdu-Hindi controversy started with the fall of the Mughal Empire. This is because the Hindus felt that Urdu was a language of the invaders as many Turkish, Arabic and Persian words had been added to it. Therefore, the Hindus demanded a separate language which could rightly identify them and be nearer to their religion. Rahman (1996) says that according to the linguists, Urdu and Hindi are ‘two styles of the same language’ as their basic vocabulary is the same; they differ in the word order abstract words. The style that is more inclined to Sanskrit is called Modern Hindi. People like Insha Allah made some efforts to escape the influence of Urdu words in Hindi, but were not very successful. Lallujilal Kavi and Sadal Misra are known to have advanced ‘Hindi’ at Fort William College in Agra as Lallujilal’s books Sihasan Battial (1801) and Prem Sagar (1803-10) show relatively lesser use of Urdu words in it. Kavi’s successors ‘Sanskritized’ Hindi by carrying out language planning activities. These included standardization and replacement of Persian and Arabic words with those of Sanskrit. However, in this process, mutual intelligibility suffered as the new Hindi was not easily comprehendible for the locals. In 1837, Persian was replaced by Urdu which was introduced as the vernacular of the vast majority of India. However, the government was still very against Persianized Urdu hence, Persianization was repeatedly deterred at all levels by the British officials. They were also of the idea that only catered well to the Muslim community. Thus, Sir George Campbell ordered in 1872 that Persianized Urdu was replaced by Hindi in the courts of Bihar. Initially the...
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